BLU-RAY REVIEW: Tangled
Disney's latest animation brings a classic German fairy tale to life...
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Disney continues to create some of the finest animated films and their latest to hit home video, Tangled, is no different. Based on the classic German fairy tale Rapunzel, in which a girl with long hair is locked high in a tower, Tangled takes plenty of liberties with the source material to create a more family-friendly, humorous and all around enjoyable story that's sure to be fun for the whole family.
A special flower grown from a single drop of sunlight provides relief from illness and youth for the aged. Thus, when the queen is sick and pregnant, the flower heals her and passes on this magical gift to the unborn princess, whose golden hair provides similar healing qualities. So, when the princess is born, an old woman named Gothel (Donna Murphy) steals her away, hides her in a tower, and raises her as her own to take advantage of her hair's magic. Thus begins the story of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and her escape and experience outside her tower.
While Tangled is far from Disney's best, it provides an entertaining addition to any family film library, especially for the youngster who'll find the characters - especially Maximus the horse and Rapunzel's pet gecko - fun to watch. Teens and adults will find plenty of entertainment in the character development and story as well as Rapunzel's coming of age story - limited to living life through her books - suddenly takes a major change when she meets the brash and adventurous Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), who finds the princesses isolated tower when running from the authorities. Together, the pair escape the tower and find trouble around every corner while trying to help Rapunzel fully experience life and learn who she really is.
The hi-def video transfer beautifully delivers the original film's 3D film in gorgeous 2D colors, crisp lines and deep contrast. One thing Disney's animators are masters of is detail and Tangled is no exception. Likewise, the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack features plenty of action on every speakers and the sub-woofer. In fact, Tangled provides a great experience for home audio system owners taking full advantage of the 7.1 audio, with effects and music providing plenty of surround background effects.
As for special features, Tangled features some decent bonus material, though there are a few blatantly missing. The 12+ minute "Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale" provides a basic behind-the-scenes look at the film hosted by voice actors Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. Info covered includes character designs, the making of the special effects, and more. Almost more about Disney in general than Tangled specifically, this featurette is still a decent watch for those who liked the film. Two alternate "Storybook" openings for the film with introductions by the directors as well as 12+ minutes of deleted scenes with introductions by the directors are also included.
Other special features include two extended song sequences, "Tangled Teasers" (which feature clips from the film edited to be public service announcements, promotional pieces, and humorous ads. A "50th Animated Feature Countdown" shows clips from a bunch of Disney films over 2 minutes, while "Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa," a 4+ minute look at how to use Blu-ray 3D. Lastly, the Tangled film on DVD is also included in this 2-disc set.
While the story may seem a bit too familiar to fairy tale fans, Tangled provides plenty of entertainment for toddlers, teens and adults alike. With interesting and exciting characters, fun action and drama, and beautiful songs, Tangled will provide the entire family with plenty of smiles, laughs, and fun.
Tangled is rated PG for brief mild violence and is available now on DVD and Blu-ray wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley